Yesterday, Web Summit announced it will license its proprietary conference software, and revealed its first ever customer: the United Nations Development Programme.
The software, which has been built in-house for nearly a decade, has helped Web Summit scale to become one of the largest technology events in the world and has helped to improve the experience and outcomes of hundreds of thousands of attendees.
While the software was initially designed to complement networking at physical events, that same technology has now been developed specifically to enhance thousands of meaningful connections for attendees online as travel is restricted for business and companies worldwide as a consequence of Covid-19.
Over the last year, the software successfully hosted 32,000 attendees at Collision in June 2020, followed by 104,000 attendees at Web Summit in December 2020 – the largest online business conference of the year.
“This is a milestone for Web Summit. We’ve agreed to run an event in March for the UNDP on our platform. We couldn’t imagine having a better first customer. It’s been a long journey, and we’ve taken it slow, perfecting the software over years. We’re in no rush for new customers, and we will take our time. In 2022, we hope to partner with other great events.” – says Paddy Cosgrave, co-founder and CEO of Web Summit.
The United Nations Development Programme will be the first customer to run Web Summit’s conference software for its event – Istanbul Innovation Days, March 23-25. The event aims to engage with individuals, communities, organisations and policy makers from different sectors who are building new futures, designing new paradigms and challenging the status quo.
“Istanbul Innovation Days has established itself as a meeting place for edge-thinkers and doers with leaders from government, academia, the arts, politics, science, and technology. This year, like so many other things in our lives, we’ve taken Innovation Days online but, using Web Summit’s software, that decision no longer feels like a compromise – in fact, our audience is likely to be more global and more diverse than ever before simply because it’s accessible from anywhere.” – says Robert Opp, Chief Digital Officer of UNDP.
Web Summit will return to an in-person conference in November 2021, gathering 70,000+ attendees in Lisbon, Portugal.